Waterfalls and Pyramids

Palenque Travel Blog

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Leaving the highlands, we descend through the tangled forests of Chiapas, stopping on the way at the little visited ruins of Tonina, where the main pyramid stands 73m high.The center of Tonina is built on the side of a large hill in seven terraces producing the overall effect of a stepped pyramid. Numerous chambers and passageways exist and there are several buildings located in front of the main complex which may have been used in conjunction with structures on the main buildings.

It is believed that Toniná formed into an organized settlement around 300 A.D, and the the height of its development occurred between 600 and 900 A.D. The site is dominated by a terraced Acropolis with a number of temple platforms surrounded by plazas, ball courts and several other smaller structures.

Within the Acropolis is the Frieze of the Dream Lords, a large 16 x 4 meter stucco wall on which are depicted many other-worldly creatures corresponding to the rulers of Toniná, the Palace of the Flowered Throne and the stone relief at the Temple of the Earth Monster. At the foot of the Acropolis lies a structure riddled with small rooms and passageways called the Palace of the Underworld.

The road is slow and winding, but there are scenic views as we descend from the highlands to the jungles of Palenque. We plan to bathe at the waterfalls of Agua Azul before driving on to our hotel. The river tumbles over a series of limestone travertines, forming natural jacuzzis, and is a popular picnic spot for Mexicans and travellers alike. 

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Palenque
photo by: monky